SET puts its money on epic soap 'Kahani Terrii Merrii'

MUMBAI: The great Indian soap just got a whole lot bigger. Sony Entertainment Television announced the launch today of a "mega family entertainer" Kahani Terri Merri, which cements the relationship between SET India and Balaji Telefilms

This is the second big project Sony has signed on Balaji to undertake after the big budget weekend thriller series Kya Hadsa Kya Haqeeqat , which was launched in the second half of 2002.

Kahani Terrii Merrii kicks off on 20 January and airs Monday-Thursday at 9:30 pm. Addressing a media briefing this afternoon SET India business head Sunil Lulla said: "Kahani Terri Merri is in terms of scale the largest ever family drama made for Indian television showcasing three generations of a family."

Balaji CEO Ektaa Kapoor said: "Kahani Terrii Merrii is Balaji's biggest ever television blockbuster. For the first time we have created lavish sets and chosen the subject of family, love and relationships. Through Kahani Terrii Merrii we want to portray the web of Indian emotions"

Lulla said Sony was committed to expanding genres. Earthy comedies, music competitions and not just game shows, thrillers with a difference and reality shows, were what would be rolled out on the channel in the course of the year, he added.

Lulla also said the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup would not affect Kahani Terrii Merrii as most matches will get over by 9-9:30 pm. In fact the cricket in South Africa will be used to create awareness among audiences about Sony's new properties. More people will sample the new shows than is otherwise the case, Lulla pointed out.

Gerry, who also made Kkusum , has directed the show. Also present at the briefing was the writer for Balaji Telefilms Kamlesh Singh. He said, "I am fascinated with the question as to why one only looks at the good aspects of ones lover when all human beings are a mix of good and bad. With this serial I have probed into the psyche of both man and woman. I have also tried to define love in more ways than what is generally done. Love could mean concern or sensitivity or helping each other get through when things go adrift.

The serial's outdoor scenes have been shot in Kolkata with the set cost running into the tens of millions, Balaji says.

Sony's marketing campaign involving dailies, magazines, outdoors and usage of the radio has already kicked off. A number of creatives have been running since 31 December when the channel aired Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham.

A short skit combining three scenes was enacted by the cast for the benefit for those present at the briefing. Now all that remains to be seen is whether Kahani Terrii Merrii can work up a TRP lather for Sony.

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